It looks like at least three charter schools will close this summer. Ute Creek Academy in Longmont has decided they don't have the financial resources to continue. Pioneer School of Expeditionary Learning in Fort Collins also ran into financial problems and has decided to join with the school district. They'll operate as a magnet program within one of the district's high schools for the next year. It's been known for several months that KIPP Cole College Prep in Denver was set for closure. The KIPP model was extremely difficult to enact in a mandatory conversion school. Of the about 800 students in Cole when the state mandated they convert to a charter school, only about 200 students stayed for the first year of KIPP Cole College Prep. This past year there were only about 52 students.
Since the Charter Schools Act was adopted in 1993 there have been about 12 school closures. Almost all were for financial reasons. Community Involved Charter School in Jeffco closed for academic reasons. Several charter schools got in over their heads financially when they made bond deals to finance their new buildings. Over-projecting the number of students can quickly translate into financial ruin. But the fact that charter schools without student demand and/or financial stability cease to operate is one of the major tenets of the charter school philosophy.